Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship

The Pediatric Anesthesia fellowship at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt attracts physicians who have a passion for learning in an environment that encourages independence, a commitment to patient care, compassion for their patients in the spirit of the anesthesia team model. You will have the opportunity to work with other fellows, anesthesia residents, CRNAs and SRNAs and the perioperative team all whose goal is to deliver the best medical and supportive care to their patients.

Our program provides 12 months of subspecialty education and training in all aspects of pediatric anesthesiology. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Subspecialty training is at the CA-IV level and begins after satisfactory completion of an ACGME-accredited residency in anesthesiology.

Education and training concentrate on all phases of the patient’s inpatient and outpatient perioperative anesthesia care. All clinical training programs are conducted at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt which serves as both a primary care facility for local residents and a regional referral center. Clinical training in pediatric anesthesia ranges from brief outpatient procedures to complex neonatal, cardiovascular, orthopedic, transplant, and neurosurgical procedures.


The clinical anesthesia program provides a broad experience, beginning with routine case assignments, progressing to increasingly complex surgical procedures and coexisting diseases. Fellows can expect to easily exceed the minimum requirements for clinical case experience recommended by the ACGME. Fellows gain experience in the management of sedation and anesthesia outside the operating room by participating in the care of patients undergoing radiation therapy, PET scanning, cardiac catheterization, MRI and other diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The Society of Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship Directors committee has developed a content study guide for pediatric anesthesia fellows.


Rotations are offered in the following areas:

  • General and Advanced Pediatric Anesthesia (up to six months)
  • Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia (two months)
  • Pediatric Critical Care Unit (one month)
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (two weeks)
  • Pediatric Acute and Chronic Pain Management (one month)
  • Preoperative Clinic (PATCH Clinic) and PACU (one month)
  • Heart, Kidney, Liver, and Lung Transplants
  • Supervision (one month)
  • Global Pediatric Anesthesia Elective (one month)

Research Opportunities - Up to 20 Non-clinical days/year

The ACGME has formulated the following policy concerning research during the pediatric anesthesia fellowship:  "The subspecialty training program in pediatric anesthesiology should provide the opportunity for active fellow participation in research projects pertinent to pediatric anesthesia”. It is difficult to become a research fellow in one year. If research will be an integral part of your career a two year fellowship is suggested that includes MPH or Masters of Clinical Research training.

Trainees are encouraged to participate in clinical projects that can be presented in abstract form at the SPA or ASA and later published in a peer reviewed journal.

International Service/Outreach
The Department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt is committed to providing our trainees experience in an international environment through our Vanderbilt International Anesthesia (VIA) program.  The VIA experience allows our fellows the opportunity to spend one month in a cross-cultural environment at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya.  This experience enables our fellows to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors essential for effective anesthesia practice in less developed, limited resource, international healthcare settings. Teaching and transfer of knowledge and clinical skills to local anesthesia practitioners and perioperative nurses is a key element of the VIA program. Fellows will also have extensive opportunities to develop regional anesthesia skills that may be underutilized in contemporary western practice. Working and teaching in international settings broadens fellows' awareness of cultural diversity and international healthcare delivery systems, and allows them to develop invaluable skills as educators in our field.  

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is also committed to providing medical services in underserved nations. This is evidenced by the number of our physicians and surgeons who travel to developing countries to offer their health care services. The Shalom Foundation is an organization dedicated to providing care to those children who live in poverty. The department of pediatric anesthesia actively participates in medical mission trips to Guatemala sponsored by Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital and The Shalom Foundation. Fellows are also encouraged and welcome to participate in these mission trips which take place at least two times per academic year.

Participation in Conferences
Journal Club
Fellows will be instructed in the conduct of scholarly activities and the evaluation of investigative methods and interpretation of data, including statistics. They should have the opportunity to develop competence in critical assessment of new therapies and the medical literature. Journal club allows the fellow to learn to use available tools and resources to evaluate scholarly works by critically evaluating investigative methods, data interpretation and statistical analysis. Fellows will choose a medical article, and will lead journal club with a designated faculty mentor. Each fellow will receive the book entitled Studying a Study and Testing a Test by Richard K Riegelman MD, MPH, PhD, which should be used as a guide when participating in journal club. 

Weekly Education Conference
Fellows attend a weekly didactic conference led by division faculty.  Although all anesthesia providers may attend, this conference is aimed at topics appropriate for fellowship education. Included in these conferences are the discussion of competencies (ACGME Core Competencies: medical knowledge, professionalism, communication & interpersonal skills, systems/teams practice, practice-based learning & improvement, clinical care) as they affect clinical care outcomes. Discussion is supported by evidence from the medical literature that is presented, and analyzed. Continually improving our ability (knowledge, skills, and behaviors) to deliver quality healthcare (as individuals, teams, and systems of healthcare) is the goal.  Suggested reading material covers key features from the ABA Pediatric Anesthesiology Content Outline.  The primary text used is Cote’s A Practice of Anesthesia for Infants & Children.  The supplemental text used is Holzman’s Pediatric Anesthesiology Review: Clinical Cases for Self-Assessment.  Both of these texts are provided by the program.  Monthly board review will focus on oral exam preparation July to May and written sub-specialty examination review for the remainder of the year.

Weekly Art of Anesthesia Conference
The goal of this conference is to create a round table discussion of management issues in pediatric anesthesiology.  During training, fellows are exposed to many ways of approaching unique issues in anesthesia.  Fellows decide on a topic of the week to promote discussion among the attendings during this conference. 

Division MM&I
The Division of Pediatric Anesthesia holds a Quarterly Pediatric MMI conference.  This conference represents a forum in which unanticipated perioperative events are discussed in an open, yet, confidential forum and the work of the Pediatric Anesthesiology and Perioperative Quality Improvement Group is presented. Attendance and participation by fellows is mandatory. Fellows are excused when their rotations make them unavailable to attend.

Society for Pediatric Anesthesia Annual  Meeting
All fellows are encouraged to attend Annual SPA meeting. Fellows presenting an abstract, PBLD, or participating in a workshop, will have travel costs covered when funding is available.

Vacation and Educational Leave
Fellows are granted 15 days of vacation and 5 days of educational leave.  Good-faith attempts are made to adjust clinical schedules in order to provide the time requested as needed. 

Please find application information and contact information here.

Thomas M. Romanelli, MD
Program Director, Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Jenna Helmer Sobey, MD
Associate Program Director, Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology